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Remember the Name: General Officer

General Officer is proving a reliable conveyance this season since going chasing for Donald McCain and might be capable of collecting a decent pot before the spring is complete.

The Soldier Of Fortune gelding has won on two of his six chasing starts and, while restricted to small fields, has finished no worse than third in that sequence. His team will be eager to see what he can achieve before the season ends.

Horse Racing

General Officer Trainer/Connections

Donald McCain Jnr has established himself as the North's leading trainer since taking over the reins from his father, Ginger McCain - trainer of legendary Red Rum - during the 2006/07 season.

McCain now has well over 1000 winners on the board from his base at Bankhouse in the beautiful Cholmondeley Castle Estate nestled in the heart of the Cheshire countryside.

McCain rode 50 winners over jumps as a jockey before a two-year stint working with Luca Cumani and then becoming pupil assistant and amateur to Oliver Sherwood. He also had time in the yard of Sir Michael Stoute before serving as assistant trainer to his father.

Amongst his tally of notable winners are Cheltenham Festival scorers Whiteoak (Mares' Hurdle, 2008), Peddlers Cross (Neptune Investment Novices' Hurdle, 2010) and Cinders And Ashes (Supreme Novices' Hurdle, 2012), while in 2011, he emulated his father by sending out Ballabriggs to win the Aintree Grand National.

The dual-purpose handler also won both the Northumberland Plate in 2010 and the Chester Cup in 2011 with Overturn.

McCain's alliance with three-time champion jockey Brian Hughes has made them one of the most trusted partnerships on the northern racing circuit.

General Officer is owned by Scottish-based Jimmy Fyffe, whose silks of black and pink diablo and black cap with pink star have also been carried by horses in training with Jim Goldie, Ian Jardine, Nicky Richards, Laura Morgan, Sandy Thomson, John McConnell, Stuart Coltherd and Harriet Graham.

Fyffe is based in Dundee and supplies beverages to businesses in North Fife, Perth, Dundee, Angus and as far north as Aberdeen.

General Officer Cost

General Officer was bought for €5,000 by Gerry Hogan Bloodstock at the Tattersalls Ireland Sale in November 2017 and ran four times in Irish points for iconic P2P trainer Colin Bowe, winning at Tinahely in February 2022 before moving into the colours of Fyffe.

General Officer Breeding

General Officer is a son of Soldier Of Fortune out of the mare Oscar'swan. His dam was placed in bumpers/2m hurdles, a sister to 2m hurdle/point winner Thefactofthematter out of a bumper/2m hurdle winning half-sister to bumper/2m2f and 3m hurdle winner Templeroan Prince.

General Officer Achievements

After winning his point-to-point, General Officer was third in a Carlisle bumper in October 2022 for his new connections.

No time was wasted in going jumping and he duly rewarded that move with maiden/novice wins over hurdles at Musselburgh in November/December that year.

After two more placed efforts, he was seventh in the Grade 2 bet365 Premier Novices' Hurdle at Kelso in March 2023 on his final hurdles start.

His first two appearances over fences were at Hexham and Aintree and he was second in both instances before stepping up in trip to 2m3f and winning at Doncaster in December.

On Boxing Day, he was a fine second behind Paul Nicholls' Tahmuras back at Aintree in a Class 3 Novices' Limited Handicap Chase over 2m4f.

He was slightly disappointing at Musselburgh when only third in the Frodon Novices' Limited Handicap Chase at the start of February but got back on track at Kelso by winning the bet365 Cyril Alexander Memorial Novices' Limited Handicap Chase at the start of this month from Olly Murphy's Chasing Fire.

General Officer Future Aspirations

It remains to be seen what McCain and connections will choose to do next. The Cheltenham Festival is not on the agenda but, given he has twice shaped well at the track, April's Aintree Grand National Festival could be on the radar for a horse now rated 130 over fences.

Equally, they could be tempted to seek out a race at the Scottish Grand National meeting at Ayr, with the Class 3 Novices' Limited Handicap Chase on day one, Friday 19th April, a possibility.

There is also the Grade 2 Future Champion Novices' Chase on the Saturday over 2m4½f or the Novices' Champion Handicap Chase over 3m if they fancy further exploring General Officer's stamina.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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